‘New Health Minister walks into the firing line’
Newly appointed Health Minister Joe Phaahla has been left to deal with the decision made by former acting health minister Mamoloko Kubayi to suspend David Motau, the CEO and registrar of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA). This follows Motau’s arrest and court appearance on charges relating to his tenure while he was head of the Free State health department.
City Press reported on August 8, that Motau’s lawyer, Neville Gawula, denied reports that his client was facing charges including fraud, forgery, money-laundering and corruption charges amounting to R8.7-m at the Free State health department, saying that, while some of Motau’s co-accused faced those charges, he had only been charged for “failing to comply with the Public Finance Management Act in relation to the capturing, processing and approval of undue payments”.
Motau, who assumed his position with the HPCSA just over two months ago, has already indicated that he will not plead guilty to the charges. In a letter to Phaahla, Gawula described his client’s suspension as “unconstitutional, invalid and of no force and effect”.
The Health Department’s spokesperson, Popo Maja, said legal opinion is being sought by the department on how to handle this matter further.